Government Affairs + BigLaw

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Government Affairs + BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:54 am

I worked in the Senate for a several years before law school and I think I would like to return to politics after graduation, with the caveat that I'd still like to pull down a BigLaw salary. I've seen that a lot of DC firms have government affairs practices, but it's unclear to me if these are traditional practice groups that associates can move into, or if they're organized like traditional lobbying shops where they poach outside talent from Congress, agencies, etc..

Does anyone here have any experience in government affairs/lobbying for a BigLaw firm?

How'd you get into the practice group?

How does the quality of life/billable requirements/compensation/etc. compare to more "traditional" practice groups?

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Re: Government Affairs + BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:52 pm

We have a government affairs section at my law firm. They are completely separate from the "traditional" lawyers, i.e. you could not really join from the traditional summer associate route. In fact, I don't know if they have law degrees. No clue about salary too.

That being said, if you really wanted to do something like that, I am sure having those folks down the hall doesn't hurt.

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Re: Government Affairs + BigLaw

Postby bear patrol » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:14 pm

I'm in gov't affairs at a biglaw firm. I missed this when it was posted a few months ago but anyone interested please feel free to PM me.

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Re: Government Affairs + BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:45 pm

I have a friend from law school who works in the Govt Affairs/Public Policy group at a biglaw firm. She interned on the Hill throughout law school and worked in the Senate for a year and a half after law school. Never took the bar so she isn't a barred "lawyer" per se.

From talking to her it seems like the group operates similarly to how the first anon reply above described it - separate from the rest of the "traditional" practice groups, do almost all of their hiring from people who have worked on the Hill, etc, and most are not practicing "lawyers."

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Re: Government Affairs + BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:We have a government affairs section at my law firm. They are completely separate from the "traditional" lawyers, i.e. you could not really join from the traditional summer associate route. In fact, I don't know if they have law degrees. No clue about salary too.

That being said, if you really wanted to do something like that, I am sure having those folks down the hall doesn't hurt.


This is my understanding as well. Some have law degrees, but don't practice. Kind of similar to Dentons having Newt Gingrich and Howard Dean, Squire Patton Boggs having Trent Lott, etc. It is essentially a lobbying gig. My hunch is that they may have an associate edit a boilerplate contract, but can't confirm.

I can't speak to billables or anything, but also have a friend that worked for the Senate and despite her less than stellar law school credentials, was a candidate for a V100 firm.

Obviously, most large law firms have lobbyists, but I would target lobby-centric firms like Brownstein Hyatt, Squire Patton, Akin Gump, Wiley Rein, etc.

(not in BigLaw, but have several law school friends that are in similar positions)



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